Photo courtesy of PR Newswire
By Emily Thomas
It is clear to everyone living in America today that the country is deeply divided. The political and social justice issues taking place over the past year have contributed to a deep polarization of society. Styx addresses this tension in their latest album, Crash of the Crown, while offering a hopeful glance at the future.
The album opens with “The Fight of Our Lives”, my personal new favorite song. Rather than living in the past or allowing another person to smother one’s flame, listeners are encouraged to “keep moving forward” and to knock down obstacles along the way. We all have a purpose in this century to work for justice and to persevere to the end.
The songs “A Monster” and “Common Ground” allow listeners to reflect on the ways that they have failed to promote unity through their words and deeds. “A Monster” addresses the consequences of our actions and the responsibility we must take for our decisions, while “Common Ground” points out the common self-centered behavior of young people in which it is difficult to empathize with others and appreciate their perspective. The song concludes with a powerful message about strength in unity.
Although the album addresses difficult topics and questions whether unity can ever be achieved, Styx promotes an optimistic future. Despite the initial somber tone in “Sound the Alarm”, the song calls the audience to embrace the present moment while looking ahead with joyful expectation. Life presents difficult challenges and suffering, yet “A new way is calling / Hope is alive.”
“To Those” promotes hope in humanity as the upbeat tone encourages listeners to pursue their goals. Through the dark times, remember to “Find beauty in your lives / don’t be afraid of love / stand up and rise above.” This particular line speaks to me as it addresses the poverty of beauty and true love in the world today.
Due to the somber news that is always flooding our inboxes and social media pages, society has lost its appreciation for the beautiful. This line also sends an important message that we can “rise above” the stereotypical “cancel culture” by coming to understand why a person believes what they do.
Not only is Crash of the Crown beautiful for its theatrical elements iconic to Styx, but also for its message. Through the allusions to personal and societal conflicts, the audience is reminded of the fragile yet achievable nature of peace and harmony.
There are many thought-provoking rhetorical questions dispersed throughout the songs, ones that we often ask ourselves throughout our lives. This album, though clearly reminiscent of America in 2020, can be applied to various situations in our lifetimes.
No matter your political affiliation, everyone should listen to Crash of the Crown in its entirety and take some time to reflect on recent history in the United States while considering ways that you can live out Styx’s message of unity.
Persevering in the pursuit of truth may be painful at times, but the end result will be extremely rewarding.